The Bold Voice of J&K

‘Ufff…! My child is technology addicted’


Parul Vohra

Perhaps one of the most common discussions amongst parents today is the addiction of technology that the children are facing today. It often becomes frustrating for a parent to see their child constantly on the mobile, iPad, laptop or maybe the television. Excessive usage of screen time and the pandemic has further deteriorated the situation. On an average a teen spends almost 8-10 hours in front of the screen and parents feel that they are losing control over their children. They fear that if they impose restrictions on the screen time or if they take it away, there’s going to be a big scene at home. Here are a few tips that will help parents to ease out this addiction of your children:

  1. Set No technology time – Decide a fixed time, maybe an hour and call it a No Technology hour. During this time no member of the house should use technology; including parents. Utilize this time to communicate with each other or play a board game or maybe even watch a movie together.
  2. No technology during meal time – Ensure that at least one meal should be together with the family without any usage of mobile phones or TV.
  3. No technology after 10 PM – If your child has school the next day, set a certain time when the phone should be kept in your room for the night. This will give the child a sound sleep and be ready for the next morning. Late night usage of phone greatly impacts both sleep and health.
  4. Teach them socializing – Encourage them to meet and play with their peers. Tell them to go cycling or play any outdoor game. This not only improves their social skills but will also develop healthy physical habits.
  5. Re arrange your room – Change the seating of your TV room in such a way that to look at the TV, one needs to turn and twist making it difficult to watch.
  6. Hand them responsibilities – Allot household responsibilities to your children as per their age. It’ll be solely their duty to fulfill it. The responsibilities can be such as filling water bottles to purchasing household items from the nearby market.
  7. Take small steps to make it easier – De addicting the usage of technology isn’t easy and if you expect to see changes immediately, then forget it. Start by little, maybe 15 minutes and gradually increase the timings.
  8. Disable the notification apps – Because even if we are busy and the notification rings, automatically our hand reaches the phone to check it and so do our children’s. Encourage your child to disable all unnecessary notification apps to avoid constant monitoring.
  9. Black and White – Life is colorful but keep the phone display black and white as colorful screen attracts you and your children, a black and white won’t, resulting in less usage.
  10. Be a role model – Children are monkeys that copy everything parents do. If we parents are not able to keep ourselves away from our mobiles, then why do we expect our children to do so? According to a study, an average man touches his / her mobile 2617 times a day and an addict more than 5400 times daily. In which category do you see yourself parents? To wrap up – If you feel you or your children are becoming addicted to technology, take action immediately. It may be difficult at the starting but it isn’t impossible, start small as I’ve said. If you want your child to have a healthy, happy and enriching growing up years, you have to start now.
    (The author is a Parent Counselor who assists parents & teachers in becoming more effective, confident & capable in their skills).
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